Our Land & Sustainability

Where is Guizhou and what’s so special about the land?

Guizhou is a mountainous, landlocked province in southwest China, with well-known tea regions such as Yunnan to the west, Guangxi to the south, and Hunan to the east. Guizhou has crafted tea for centuries in relative isolation and is home to the only tea seed fossil of Camellia Tetracocca (four-seed tea seed fossil) in the world, dating back more than 1,640,000 years.

Lu Yu heaped praise on Guizhou tea in his book The Classic of Tea, writing, “the tea grown in Sizhou, Bozhou, Feizhou, and Yizhou in the middle part of Guizhou always tastes the best.” 

Guizhou is also home to vibrant indigenous cultures and their original approaches to tea (古法 - ancient ways) have remained unknown to the rest of the world. The landscape provides pristine water, nutrient-rich soil, dynamic shifts in temperature, and ample rainfall - it is considered to be the most favourable natural environment for tea plants to flourish. 

What is wild tea? Is it sustainable?

Wild tea is naturally grown without human cultivation, where the inherent environment achieves biodiversity and supports healthy soil, wildlife, and tea. Worldwide we have suffered from large-scale tea farming, where genetically modified tea trees were planted and indigenous species wiped out, causing irreversible damage to our natural environment. 

Unlike the industrialised procedure of plucking tea leaves from neat rows of bushes in controled tea gardens, picking from wild trees involves a few extra challenges: ancient tea trees are usually 3 to 10m in height, so tea pickers must place a lot of trust in their relationship with nature in order to do so safely; and in order to forage wild tea leaves, they must typically walk anywhere between 5 to 15km in windy mountain trails that are only known to them. Because of all the extra work and risk that goes into caring for their environment, the financial reward of wild tea foragers is usually about 4-5 times higher than tea garden pickers.

The starting point for our tea making is the intention to maintain harmony with nature. This means only taking what nature offers. Our tea leaves are foraged in tune with the season, typically from the same tree every other year, allowing the soil and trees to rest from year to year, and ensuring those involved in the tea process are well-compensated. Your support means that wild, ancient & indigenous tea trees and time-honoured craftsmanship can thrive under the main force of mass production.

Our Teas

I’m a beginner and all the choices are overwhelming, where shall I start?

Our filters are designed to curate the selection for your unique needs. Please make sure you select “New to GPT” on Our teas or Gifts and Teaware.

What is the Living Tea 活茶?

Living Tea | Huó Chá 活茶 is a traditional tea-making philosophy in Guizhou that embodies tea as a living being. The intention and the guiding principle for tea making are to preserve the living properties of the leaves by following nature’s pace. It is firmly believed that when we honour tea as nature intends, it will offer exceptional quality, flavours and health benefits. Throughout generations, inviting Living Tea to our lives has been considered to be a way of bringing ancestral insights into holistic health, peace and harmony.

I had your tea and it didn’t give me jittery feelings and nor did it taste bitter, why is that?

All teas from Camellia sinensis contain caffeine, though how caffeine is absorbed is different compared to coffee consumption. Caffeine absorption has much to do with the quality of the tea trees, their natural habitat, and how the leaves are processed. Our tea grows wild in its natural environment, and we craft it following nature’s pace. It will only work with the naturalness of your body, not against it, never causing you to feel jittery, lightheaded, or unwell. 

I’m caffeine sensitive, can I still enjoy your tea? 

All teas from Camellia sinensis contain caffeine, though how caffeine is absorbed is different compared to coffee consumption. Caffeine absorption has much to do with the quality of the tea trees, their natural habitat, and how the leaves are processed. Our tea grows wild in its natural environment, and we craft it following nature’s pace. It will only work with the naturalness of your body, not against it, never causing you to feel jittery, lightheaded, or unwell. 

We recommend you try brewing and re-brewing with lighter infusions and see what your body tells you. Generally speaking, we do not recommend brewing a new tea at the end of the day. Since caffeine is released most at first contact with hot water, you can continue the tea you brewed during the day into the evening. 

We also offer a range of wild, seasonal Herbal and Fruit Infusions that are caffeine free. 

How do I store the tea overnight so I can continue to enjoy it the next day?

Drain the water completely, either keep the leaves in your teaware or put them in an airtight vessel such as our Flask, you can store it at room temperature or leave it in the fridge for hot summer nights.

For how long can I store your teas?

Thanks to the living quality of our teas and their natural, slow processing, all of our teas will continue to transform for years to come and are much less “fussy” when it comes to storing. Each one of your tea orders is freshly weighed and wrapped with traditional speciality paper that provides the most optimal protection. This storing method has been tested over time as it’s been used to store teas for centuries.

Please note that tea is highly absorbent of odours and humidity. Once it’s open, we recommend keeping your tea airtight and storing it in a cool, dry place between 5-15°C (41-60F) away from sunlight and any type of strong smells. Please do not put it in the fridge where you also store food as the tea will pick up the odours very quickly. 

If you’d like to age our tea in the comfort of your home, we recommend using a bigger, sealable bag to give an extra layer of security. Please make sure all the air is squeezed out before you seal each layer of the bags. 

What’s aged green tea? Should I buy the aged batch or the new batch?

Our Master's Green, crafted by Master Lin, utilises traditional methods, unlike the contemporary understanding of green tea production. Master’s Green is made with the intention for it to evolve, resulting in a distinct floral fragrance and mellow sweetness that shifts into earthiness and warmth. In our own experience, the energy of Aged Master’s Green is more rounded and mellow, whereas Master’s Green is more energetic and refreshing. We invite you to taste and feel the differences between the two as age provides a depth and richness that is calm yet bold.

Our Tea Makers and Pickers

Who is Master Lin?

Master Lin is the sixth generation of a tea-making family originated from Fujian and specialises in traditional craftsmanship of tea that strickly follows nature’s pace. Wild, ancient and indigenous tea trees. Master Lin grew up in Taiwan where he learnt most of his craft from his grandfather and father. His passion for wild, ancient and indigenous tea trees (what he calls “clean leaves”) had led him to settle in Guizhou
since the 80's.

Brewing Our Teas

How clean is your tea? Do I need to rinse it before I drink?

We never rinse our tea when we drink it. Our teas grow wild in the primaeval forest, not only are they free from chemicals, pesticides and additives, but they also contain more potent nutrients, minerals and healing properties. So we highly recommend savouring from the very first brew! 

How do you recommend brewing your teas for the first time?

All of our teas are made for multiple re-brew and they thrive in boiling water. There are many ways to brew, below is a general guideline for you to get started. There is no right or wrong way to make tea, only the way that suits you best according to your ever-changing needs.  

For more information, you can check out our illustrated book The Guizhou Way of Brewing and explore our teaware range for hassle-free ways of brewing. 

"Bowl Tea" (leaves in a cup/glass/mug, no strainer) | 杯泡法

2-3g in 100-150ml at 90-100°C/194-212°F. Enjoy the tea when the temperature feels ready to drink. Top it up with more water when you feel ready for more infusions. 

(bear in mind that the higher the temperature the quicker and stronger the infusion)

Brew with the Flask/a strainer for multiple infusions 茶水分离

4-6g for 100-150ml @100c/212F.

Infuse with boiling water for 5-10 seconds in the Flask and pour. The tea is ready to serve. Add 5-10 seconds more for each re-brew. For those who prefer light, fresh-tasting tea you can infuse for 5-10 seconds each time. For those who like strong tea, wait longer. This process may be repeated as many times as wanted until the tea has lost its flavour.

Brew with Gai Wan or Gong Fu Style 工夫茶

4-6g for a Gai Wan/lidded bowl of 150ml in volume.

What you’ll need: The lidded bowl should preferably be made of porcelain or other materials (with a versatile and breathable vessel like porcelain). The mouth of the cup should be relatively wide (to prevent the heat from burning the hands). There should also be a Gong Dao Bei (fairness pitcher), teacups and a kettle. Tea scoop, tea spoon, tea clip, tea dish, water bowl and tea towel are optional. 

Warm the vessel: Pour some boiled water into the lidded bowl. Once the bowl is warmed up, empty it. The high temperature of the boiled water will arouse the scent of the tea leaves when they are added to the lidded bowl in the next step.

Add tea leaves and appreciate the aroma: Put 4-6g of tea leaves in the warmed lidded bowl. Put the lid on and then shake the bowl gently to make sure all the tea leaves have made contact with the warmed wall of the lidded bowl. As the tea starts releasing its aromas, open a small gap from the lid and sniff the tea inside. This is one way to tell good tea from bad. Good tea gives off a pleasant aroma, whereas bad tea gives off a smoky, burned, stale, strange and mixed aroma.

Add and extract water, and then serve: Pour the boiled water into the 150ml lidded bowl containing warmed leaves. The ratio of tea to water should be between 1:25 to 1:37. Wait 10-40 seconds before pouring out the infusion. Pour the tea into the Gong Dao Bei (fairness pitcher). Make sure no water remains in the lidded bowl. Pour the brewed tea into each of the teacups and serve. The wait time for each extraction can be shortened or extended according to personal preferences (shorter for lighter tea, and longer for stronger tea). This process can be repeated several times until the tea loses its flavour. 

I’d like to brew my teas Gong Fu style. What water-to-leaf ratios do you recommend?

We recommend using 4g of leaf per 100ml. 

Health Benefits of Our Teas

What health benefits do wild, ancient and indigenous tea have?

There have been countless studies and articles to prove the general health benefits of tea however, we’d like to highlight a holistic approach that equally values the quality of the soil, the originality of the trees, the biodiversity of the environment and the good intention that guides the process of making. In our culture, tea can truly benefit us if treated as what nature intended, every step without compromise. 

Our teas come from pristine soil and are picked every other year from ancient, indigenous tea trees, offering much more potent and natural nutrients such as amino acids, polyphenols/antioxidants, vitamins C, B2, E, folic acid,  β-carotene and minerals such as Zinc, Potassium and Calcium. They are released in layers over multiple re-brews. 

Master’s Tea House | Tea Education

What is your lineage and who are your teachers?

The knowledge we share predominately comes from the cultural, linguistic “translation” by Rui, the founder of Grass People Tree, who is taught and guided by Master Lin, Master Lian, The Rao Brothers, The Master's Tea House and the indigenous tribes of Miao, Buyi, Gelao, Yi, Hui and Tujia in Guizhou, China.

What is the Master’s Tea House? How can I visit?

The Master's Tea House by Grass People Tree is a multi-dimensional space where knowledge, culture and tradition are shared and celebrated. It is the extended arm of the original Master's Tea House in Guizhou, China. Historically known as "The Temple of Awakening" 大觉精舍, it was built in 1924 with the purpose of "meeting of the minds",  throughout decades it is locally recognised as "The practice ground of rites for tea people": "茶人道场". 

In our culture, oral transmission and non-verbal teaching from the elders have been considered one of the most personable and cherished ways of learning. Throughout centuries, knowledge, tradition and culture have been passed down over many sips of tea, we would like you to take part in sharing further this essence of the Tea House, from our home region to yours.

Are all your classes offered online? 

Although our offerings are mainly held online, we continue to facilitate intentionally selective in-person experiences around the world. You may stay up to date on all offerings through our newsletter.

Shipping & Delivery

Where do your teas ship from and who packs them? What packaging do you use?

All our teas are sent straight from the Master’s Tea House by a group of talented, skilful, and wise women, who have been making, serving, and packing tea with great care, love and expertise. We pack our tea just in time for shipping so as to ensure the homogeneity of each batch and the freshness of your teas upon delivery. We continue to apply the ancient way of wrapping tea, using 100% natural, traditionally made speciality paper. Other packaging materials are used with the intention to protect your teas and accessories alike from being potentially damaged by standard handling procedures.

When you order tea and provide a tip, 100% of your generous donation goes to supporting them in learning English and in translating the Tea House culture in ways to communicate with the global GPT community.

Will I be charged duties and taxes?

Rest assured, we take care of customs, duties and taxes for most countries. With exceptions for countries such as South Africa, Venuzuela and Eduardo.

How long does it take and will I receive frequent updates?

Upon placing the order and receiving confirmation, the women at the Master's Tea House will pack your order, which then takes 1-2 days of domestic transfer to the international airport. Afterwards, we anticipate anywhere between 3-15 days to journey to you, depending on where you are. You will be sent a link with tracking once it has been handled at the international port.

Where else can I buy or experience your teas?

Please take a look at our Tea Houses and Friends of GPT to find what works best for you. (LINK)

I’d like to share GPT’s offerings with my community as a facilitator/ambassador/stockist. How do I get started?

We’d love that! Please email support@grasspeopletree.com to start our conversation.

Subscription Box FAQs

Can I change my shipping address?

Absolutely! Our boxes are designed to bring you ease and comfort. You're welcome to change the address as many times as you need, up to one week prior to shipment.

After your initial box, you will receive an email letting you know we're preparing your next upcoming box so you have enough time to make any changes if needed.

To change your address head to your Subscription Portal > Select the subscription you want to modify > Click "Edit" on the right-hand panel of the screen labeled "Shipping"

How much tea do I get?
  • For our Big Box, you get 160g of tea per shipment (every quarter)
  • For our Small Box, you get 80g of tea per shipment (every quarter)
When does my first box ship?

All our boxes ship on the last week of February, May, August, and November.

Depending on when you ordered your first box, you may have to wait a little while until the next shipping date, but rest assured your order will be safe and sound and packed freshly on the day prior to shipping by our sisters at the teahouse :)

When do recurring/subsequent boxes ship?

After you receive your first box — regardless of when that is — you will receive your next boxes on a synchronised quarterly schedule, late in the following months: February, May, August, and November.

Can't find what you're looking for?

Please email us at support@grasspeopletree.com